The first psychiatric emergency center in Central Texas is scheduled to open in the spring to help address a shortfall in mental health services.
The Austin American-Statesman reports the 17-bed facility will be housed at University Medical Center Brackenridge and is expected to serve 2,500 adults by June.
Officials anticipate that by 2016 the number will grow to 10,500 per year. The center will serve people in the midst of a psychiatric crisis.
It's expected to ease the burden on hospital emergency rooms that have struggled for years to juggle patients needing short-term medical care and people in crisis.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, University Medical Center Brackenridge's emergency room saw 3,000 patients whose primary diagnosis was a psychiatric disorder. Many were suicidal, hallucinating or psychotic.
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